Category Archives: midterm elections


FUN FACT: The Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple now has a gay governor.

FUN FACT: Maxine Waters will have the power to subpoena Trump’s banks in January.

FUN FACT: Mysoginist MN GOP Rep. Jason Lewis, who once complained that he couldn’t call women sluts, has lost re-election to a Democratic woman.

FUN FACT: Gun control advocate Lucy McBath, whose son was gunned down at a Florida gas station by a white man complaing about loud music, has defeated the NRA-endorsed, A-rated Karen Handel.

FUN FACT: Brian Kemp, architect of Georgia’s voter suppression, had trouble voting yesterday because of an issue with his voter registration card.

FUN FACT: Anti-gay marriage, pro-Trump Tea Party darling Rep. Kevin Yoder just lost re-election to a lesbian Native American woman named Sharice Davids.

FUN FACT: In an election characterized by vile demonization of refugees and asylees, MN voters elected a refugee to Congress: Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American refugee.

FUN FACT: The climate change denying/anti-science/Koch Industries-supported Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker lost re-election to a former science teacher, Tony Evers. And he can’t ask for a recount, thanks to a law he signed himself last year.

FUN FACT: This magnificent rainbow appeared over the U.S. Capitol yesterday:

Democrats won big yesterday. Yoooooge. Trump’s whining and crying notwithstanding, yesterday was a big fuck you to Trump, Trumpism, hate, and the sharp departure from norms we’ve experienced these past two years.

Do I wish Phil Bredesen had beat Marsha Blackburn? Of course! Am I bummed about Beto O’Rourke? Absolutely! But people, Democrats were never supposed to win the Senate. The math was against us from the beginning, and the fact that in Texas, fer gosh sakes, a Republican had to fight for their life is saying something. (BTW, these electoral statistics will be stacked in Democrats’ favor in 2020. Just sayin’.)

I’m not back blogging but I just thought I’d do a happy dance.


Filed under 2018 Election, midterm elections

We’re All Scott DesJarlais Now


Just as planned! Huzzah!

Sinclair Posts 16% Revenue Gain

Political higher than expected, national ad revenue up 30%

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenues in the third quarter of $158.8 million, a 16.4% increase over the same quarter a year ago. Political revenue was nearly $10 million. Local broadcast revenues were up almost 12%, and national ad revenues up 30%.

“Political advertising came in higher than expected and that trend has continued in the fourth quarter where we expect $26.8 million in political revenues,” commented Sinclair President/CEO David Smith. “For the year, political revenues are expected to be approximately $41.9 million, a record amount for us. This would represent a 34.7% increase over 2006’s $31.1 million in political revenues and a 1.9% increase over the 2008 presidential year’s $41.1 million.”

This is where your campaign donations go, peeps.


“Blue Dog Coalition Crushed”:

According to an analysis by The Huffington Post, 22 of the 46 Blue Dogs up for re-election went down on Tuesday. Notable losses included Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.), the coalition’s co-chair for administration, and Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), the co-chair for policy. Two members were running for higher office (both lost), four were retiring and three races were still too close to call.


Loudly breaking with Obama on health care was not a winner, either. “Of the 34 Democrats who voted against the health care bill in March – 24 of them were Blue Dogs – only 12 won reelection,” notes reporter Jon Ward.

Yes clearly Democrats were too liberal. Not.

…. and yes, I do mean that in the “sitting with a gun in our mouths crying like babies” sense.

Before crawling back into my NaNoWriMo hole I did want to reflect on the midterms. Republicans swept into the House of Representatives with some historic wins. Yes, the “tsunami” predictions were correct.

Here in Tennessee I was frankly surprised that Lincoln Davis got spanked so badly — DesJarlais won handily, with 57% of the vote. I have to think the DCCC’s stupid decision to go negative bringing up DesJarlais’ domestic violence allegations hurt. Don’t you folks know yet that Republicans are rubber, Democrats are glue? For crying out loud, they re-elected David Fucking Vitter. If a Democrat got nabbed in a similar prostitution sting, their career would be over. For Republicans, it’s re-election all the way, bay-beee.

Then again, Digby makes a good point on the “conventional wisdom” surrounding Alan Grayson’s loss, which can easily be applied to Tennessee’s races:

Regarding Grayson,well we have a little controlled experiment. His neighboring first term Democratic congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas, in a very similar district, took the opposite approach to Grayson. She ran as hard to the right as she could get away with, never had a controversial thought much less uttered one, was rewarded with big money and support from the DCCC — and she lost too. This race was bigger than both of them. Florida is turning hard right.

Lincoln Davis certainly was no progressive — his chief of staff once famously said he “wasn’t sure” if President Obama has terrorist connections. This election was too big for Tennessee’s Blue Dogs, too.

Digby goes on:

As far as the notorious Aqua Buddha goes, Conway was strong armed by the DSCC into running that ad because — as usual — they believed that all politicians have to run to the right no matter what the circumstances and they thought Paul was soft with social conservatives. If the ad backfired, you can thank the “professional” hacks not the dirty hippies, for insisting that it was a good idea for Conway to pretend to be something that he isn’t. It never works.

Yup. And that holds true in the Lincoln Davis race, too.

In the Tennessee state races, I’m thrilled to see “Democrat” Doug Jackson sent his walking papers. This DINO was the legislator behind Tennessee’s guns in bars bill and a big supporter of SJR 127, our statewide anti-abortion measure that will now surely appear on the 2012 ballot. I’m sure Jackson lost because he wasn’t conservative enough. /snark.

On the Senate side, Tea Party candidates were a big fail. Rand Paul was the lone exception; Sharron Angle lost. Christine O’Donnell was a spectacular flameout. Alaska’s Joe Miller was a fail. Seems to me if it weren’t for the Tea Party, the Republicans would have taken back the Senate, too. (I was actually hoping Harry Reid would lose, because he is a terrible Senate majority leader. But, alas, it was not to be.)

I’m sure the take-away will be Democrats “over-reached,” moved “too far to the left,” and all sorts of other nonsense [That didn’t take long. Hey Evan Bayh: shut the fuck up]. When in fact the take-away should be, “the economy still sucks,” and “the same people who never vote in midterm elections didn’t vote this year either.”

Simply put, the Republican base was motivated. The Democratic base was not. That’s really all you need to know. Whenever Democrats run to the right they lose. When given a choice between a real Republican and a fake one, voters will pick the real one. Democrats need to show they are the alternative, not a paler version of what the other guys are offering. That should be the lesson here, but it won’t be.

The bright spot is California, which is returning to sanity. While pot legalization failed, the lesser-known Proposition 25 passed, which to me is a much bigger deal. In essence, California voted against gridlock. Similarly, the spectacular failures of Proposition 23, Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman is a staunch rebuke to CEO politics.

So it’s back to business as usual, near as I can tell. We’re hearing all the usual BS from Republicans, about how the American people are “worried about spending,” when during the Bush years they spent like drunken sailors and no one gave a crap. It’s IOKIYAR all over again. Let’s prepare ourselves for the usual Republican rent-boy scandals and bogus investigations into ACORN, the New Black Panthers, birth certificates, George Soros and anything else they can dream up. We’ll have epic gridlock because the Republicans have no interest in governing, just in obtaining power. We’ll probably have more war with Iran talk — David Broder’s trial balloon to that effect should have sobered up our media; instead they ignored it. Only a few dirty bloggers bothered to notice.

But it’s just two years. In 2012 the same people who showed up to vote for Obama in 2008 will show up to vote for him again. The Democrats have two years to get their shit together. Can they do it? I’m not so sure. I stand by my list of objections to the rigged game which prioritizes corporate greed over the popular voice. I plan to send this list in response to every DSCC and DCCC fundraising request I get. American plutocracy continues; big business was the big winner last night. Our system is still broken, and will remain so, because the Democrats squandered their chance to fix it.

But we’ve been through this before. We’ll get through it again.


Filed under midterm elections

>"I Remember"

>Wow. Powerful ad.

(h/t, Brilliant At Breakfast.)


Filed under Democratic Party, midterm elections, Republican Party

>So Much For That Anti-Incumbent Wave

>Are we witnessing the death of another tired media meme? Yes, I think so:

The New Face of the G.O.P.? Grizzled Veterans

WASHINGTON — Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party favorite and Republican Senate nominee from Delaware, is trailing badly in the polls, but her every utterance seems to win national attention. Meanwhile, John Hoeven, the three-term governor of North Dakota, remains largely unknown even though he is virtually certain to win a Senate seat next week — not to mention that he was recently named a finalist for the American Mustache Institute’s Mustached American of the Year award.

Insurgent challengers may be grabbing all the headlines in midterm elections this year, but most of the Republicans who are best positioned to snap up Senate seats currently held by Democrats are veteran politicians — and most of them have already served in Congress.


The clear, if little noted, wealth of prior political experience among so many of the likely Republican victors in Senate races this year also highlights why voters often end up disappointed when they head to the polls eager for change in Washington. The overwhelming majority of winners on Tuesday in both the House and Senate races will be sitting incumbents, while relatively few will be neophytes with no background in politics.

Mustached American of the Year award? Okie dokie.

So, the Teanutties got pwned again. And you thought this was the year of the “anti-incumbent” wave. Hah! GOP stalwarts Dick Armey and Karl Rove brought all of the sign wavers into the fold, and it looks like it’s going to be business as usual.

You said you wanted change. You wanted to throw the bums out. You wanted fresh faces in Washington, an end to the status quo. Na. Ga. Ha. Pen.

It’s not just the Senate races. In Texas, “Gov. Rick Perry defying anti-incumbent mood.” Former California Governor Jerry Brown is still leading political newbie Meg Whitman. And let’s not even talk about that embarrassment in New York, Carl Paladino.

Of course, the folks with egg on their faces are the people who created this false “anti-incumbent wave” meme to begin with: the mainstream media. Guess they read something in the tea leaves that was never there.


Filed under midterm elections

>Can You Really Buy An Election?

>I’ve been pondering all of the corporate money flooding this election: the direct donations from outfits like Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp to the Republican Governor’s Assn., the corporate donations to groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, the corporate PACs, and the bazillionaire self-financed candidates. And then there are the ads from liberal groups: the Democratic campaign committees, unions, and the like. Most of the donations are going to Republican candidates, and while Democratic groups are certainly spending money — and asking for it, lord God almighty how they are asking — the GOP has been outspending Democrats significantly.

I have a couple of thoughts on this. For one thing, I have to wonder if these corporate donations are the best use of those millions. Is it really worthwhile, spending all of that money trying to get Republicans elected? Funneling all that cash to the GOP via PAC donations and Chamber donations and “grants” to corporate front groups like the American Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation? Really? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just deal with whatever regulation it is the Democrats supposedly want, or increase the fuel economy on the car you’re manufacturing (and which the American public wants too, I might add)? Is it really a good return on investment to spend tens of millions every two years trying to swing an election?

The general assumption is that they wouldn’t be spending this kind of money if they didn’t think it worthwhile, but let’s face it: American corporations do all sorts of crazy, stupid shit. New Gap logo, anyone?

(And here’s another thought: if the majority of Americans really believed in Free Market Fairies and the tyranny of Big Government and the dangers of the deficit, would they really need to spend so much money selling us these ideas?)

Maybe it was a smart expenditure before the good ol’ days of Citizens United, when we weren’t talking about so many zeroes on every campaign donation and every Karl Rove and Karl Rove wannabe didn’t have his or her hand out demanding money for this or that organization, PAC, think tank, foundation, etc. I mean, seriously. Wouldn’t you people rather be expanding your factories and hiring people with that money or something? Or giving yourselves fat bonuses?

Just wondering.

Here’s something else. It’s looking like $2 billion will be spent on campaigns this election, a record for a midterm election. We’ve all been griping about the money coming from foreign sources but nobody ever finishes the sentence: no one stops to think where this money is going. The vast majority of it is going to buy television air time.

Elections are a media cash cow, from the ad agencies making the buys to the cable, network and local television stations cashing the checks. Where is all of this Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads money going? Straight to Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and the rest.

Well no wonder campaign finance reform and public financing of elections never got off the ground. No wonder our news information sucks. Who stands to benefit from an undecided voting public, an electoral horse race in every district, hotly contested primaries orchestrated by a media-created Tea Party “movement”? I mean, think about it.

Since I started writing this post this morning I have received seven solicitations for political donations and one phone call. Swear to God. Here’s one from the DCCC:

There are just hours left before our most critical deadline of the election. The amount of money in the bank tonight determines tomorrow’s television spending — this is the FINAL time we can make adjustments to our ad buy for the final week.

Enough already, people. I have just one question for the DCCC, Organizing For America, the Chamber of Commerce, and everyone else with skin in this game: do TV ads even work anymore? Other than getting a candidate’s name and image out there, of course, but does anyone think they will sway a voter’s opinion on a candidate?

For years we’ve been hearing that product marketers are getting away from traditional ad buys to things like “guerilla marketing” and “branding.” Consumers have been assaulted with advertising for decades and I think we’re all savvy enough to assume the information in a television ad is going to be bullshit. Just because Tide says its detergent is the most fabulous thing out there doesn’t mean anyone believes it. Why would anyone think we believe political campaign ads?

Here’s what’s interesting to me: there are thousands of people who believe Barack Obama is a Muslim of Kenyan birth. I don’t recall seeing one television ad telling people that information, yet somehow it managed to spread around the country anyway.


I’m not the only one questioning the dubious effectiveness of all this campaign advertising. As I was wondering these things I happened across this post over at Gin And Tacos which pretty much articulates my own thoughts on the subject. Ed writes:

Accordingly, asking whether money matters is essentially asking if advertising matters. Much like money, advertising has a threshold beyond which its marginal effects are indistinguishable from zero. There are different schools of thought on this issue, but my personal bias favors the argument that the threshold is very, very low. Advertising is good for name recognition and not much else. As you sit through the barrage of TV commercials for this year’s candidates, ask yourself who is actually persuaded by any of this crap. Individuals’ own preferences and partisan predispositions are an effective screen; in other words, any message from the opposite party is heavily discounted if not ignored altogether. If you’re a Republican, you’re going to tell yourself that anything in the Democrats’ commercials is untrue and untrustworthy anyway.

Naturally, Republican ads are discounted by Democratic voters, and please show me the independent/undecided voter who is actually swayed by a campaign ad featuring the Scary Voiced Announcer Dude and Soaring Chorus when Candidate X appears on screen?

The only people campaign advertising makes a difference to is the people selling the air time. And it makes a huge difference to them. It will continue to make a difference to them until the candidates and campaigns themselves decide TV advertising isn’t effective. When that happens, the local and national networks will have a huge sad. Maybe as big of a sad as the one we’ll see by the RSCC, RCCC, DSCC, DCCC, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and every other group with their hand out seeking donations for ad buys that we could all do without.

Then and only then will this highway robbery come to an end and maybe we can have some sane political campaigns.


Filed under advertising, campaign finance, media, midterm elections

>Republican Woman

>Okay, this is currently going viral, and it’s well done so I thought I’d share it. But for the record, I’m not entirely comfortable with the message. Being a proud liberal woman let me remind everyone: the problem with these candidates is not their gender, but the fact that they are barking mad and not anything close to being fit for office. And there are plenty of Republican men who can join them in the nuthouse as far as I’m concerned.

Still, it’s a riff on a classic song from 1970, so I’m not gonna get my thong in a twist about it. No harm, no foul. Enjoy:


Filed under midterm elections, music and politics, Republicans

Suppressing The Latino Vote

I guess the Republican Party has conceded the Hispanic vote, judging by this ad telling Latinos not to vote. The ad is running in Spanish and English.

Seems the guy behind this “don’t vote” campaign is linked to the Republican Party and his organization was once connected to a prominent Swift Boater.

I know, y’all are shocked. Well, not everyone is taking this lying down. Here’s a counter-ad explaining why Latinos should vote on November 2:

Back in 2004 when I was registering voters I’d occasionally run across African-American women who said they didn’t vote on religious grounds. The first time I heard that I was stunned. What religion preaches that people shouldn’t vote? They always said it was a “church” thing, as in, “my church doesn’t believe in that.” So these were Christians. Anyone know what church does not believe in voting? Is this a Jehova’s Witness thing? I honestly have no clue.

All I could think was: what better way to make sure people remain disempowered and oppressed than to tell them voting is against their religion?


Yet another reason to vote:

PHOENIX – Lawmakers in at least 14 states are collaborating on proposed legislation to deny U.S. citizenship to children of illegal immigrants, according to lawmakers, including the sponsor of Arizona’s 2010 law targeting illegal immigration.

Gotta love those family values! Because there’s nothing more compassionate than breaking up families.


DOJ investigating voter intimidation by Texas Tea Party group:

Harris County, the biggest county in the state, is where a Tea Party group called the King Street Patriots launched an anti-voter fraud initiative called “True the Vote,” which recruited poll watchers and amped up fears over groups like the community organizing group ACORN.

Chad Dunn, a lawyer who is representing the Texas Democratic Party, told TPMMuckraker a number of witnesses have been interviewed by Civil Rights Division lawyers already. “We’ve gotten a number of reports — quite a few out of the Houston area — that poll watchers, King Street Patriot training poll watchers, are following a voter after they’ve checked them out and stand right behind them,” Dunn said. There’s at least a dozen reports that they could confirm with witnesses, he said. “Interestingly, it’s all in the polling places in Hispanic and African-American areas,” he added.

Terry O’Rourke, the first assistant in the Harris County Attorney’s office, told TPMMuckraker that there have been allegations of poll watchers talking to voters, which they are not allowed to do, as well as hovering over voters as they are waiting to vote. He said the complaints came from Kashmere Gardens, Moody Park, Sunnyside and other predominantly minority neighborhoods of the county.

Of course. Because when brown people vote, Republicans lose.


Filed under midterm elections, voter turnout

>Mirror Politics


I just saw an ad for Stephen Fincher (TN-8) where he blasts the Obama stimulus for spending money on windmill parts in China. “Jobs for China but not here,” it says. Can’t find the link right now but I can’t impress on Democrats enough the importance of the job outsourcing issue. Clearly it’s polling well for Republicans or we wouldn’t keep hearing the stimulus slammed for creating jobs overseas.

I realize this isn’t the same issue as the U.S. Chamber foreign funds deal, but in a way it is: Republicans are using the words “foreign corporations” as a pejorative. And the GOP is the party who has always been all “free markets” and “free trade”! They fight any hint of protectionism — until election time, when it’s convenient to exploit so they can send their free-trade loving Republicans to Washington D.C.

Wake up, Tennessee and America … you’re being played!


Anyone who doubts the wisdom of Democrats hammering Republicans on the foreign money issue need only watch this NRCC ad attacking Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Lincoln Davis, in the fight of his life to keep his seat.

Watch it here and tell me what you notice. Is that the Republican Party attacking a Democrat by alleging the stimulus “sent your tax dollars to foreign corporations who ship jobs overseas”? That’s the Republicans saying that, right?

If the Republican Party thinks this message resonates with voters, then by all means the Democrats should, too.

This is typical Republican Party political strategy: try to tar your opponent with the very horrible thing you yourself have been doing for years. Republicans do everything with mirrors, it’s the root of the IOKIYAR meme, and they are very, very good at it. They are thinking you won’t remember the shit storm they kicked up about the “Buy American” clause in the economic stimulus. Whaah it’s just a sap to unions, whaaah it’s going to spark a trade war, whaaah it’s going to cause the price of everything to go up, whaah it violates our trade treaties, whaah whaah whaah. Cranky John McCain tried to strip the clause from the bill completely. Here’s that pinnacle of patriotism, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on the “Buy American” clause:

Thomas Donohue, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, added, “If we refuse to buy foreign-made goods, then our trading partners will refuse to buy from us. And since we are the world’s largest exporter, who will be hurt more?”

Got that? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce thinks “Buy American” is bad for America.

So yeah, that’s another thing the Democrats caved on. And fat lot of good it did you because now the NRCC is running ads against Democrats for not doing it. Fucking maroons, you got played. Again.

So yeah. Keep hammering them with this, Democrats. You’re on the right side on this one. Don’t cave.

Comments Off on >Mirror Politics

Filed under economic stimulus, midterm elections, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

>This Says More About You Than It Does About Us

>Via Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice comes this semi-satirical (I hope) piece in Esquire, “How D.C. Became Hollywood for Semi-Attractive People.” The premise is that Republicans are ascendent because they have stars like Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell who happen to be attractive women, and they’re fun to watch because they spew crazy shit. The Democrats are boring, and their women, says the article, “are either old or unattractive.” When given a choice between old/unattractive and boring vs. attractive and entertaining/crazy, the American voter will take the latter, according to Esquire at least.

Before you think Tom Junod just watched this video too many times, hear him out:

The reality-television baseline is becoming the standard of beauty in this country: If you can say really crazy things or lead a really crazy life and become a star, well, then you must be beautiful. The Republicans have cornered the market on beauty because they’ve cornered the market on crazy, and if they’ve failed to produce a “candidate” in Delaware, they’ve succeeded in producing a star, and have made all the tut-tutting pundits look as behind the times as the newspapers they serve. Wherever populism reared its head, there used to be sweaty men; now — in country music, at Fox, and in crossover “Islamaphobe” bloggers who get their picture pasted on the Sunday Times — there are at least semi-sexy women.

Okay, I’m going to call bullshit here, with a bullhorn.


Sarah Palin lost. Her candidates lose. Christine O’Donnell will lose. They may be attractive and entertaining but they don’t win elections.

Tom Junod and the rest of the media elites may have a hard-on for these women but the country does not want them in elected office. They are “stars” because they are “media-genic” — Christine O’Donnell was on television long before she was a political candidate, as the current avalanche of embarrassing video from Bill Maher now illustrates. But that is because she fits the media’s idea of what is attractive and entertaining. It certainly doesn’t mean that this is what voters want in their politicians.

Sure, the superficialities matter — Scott Brown is a case in point. But last I checked, Republican candidates like Rand Paul and Joe Miller aren’t exactly stud muffins. Sharron Angle is no cover girl. So, while I’m trying to be fair to Tom Junod (and Anne Laurie), I think this is BS.

It’s a midterm election, people. The economy sucks. We have a lot of problems in this country, a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety. So when Junod writes

They didn’t realize that what we want is drama and nothing but …

my answer is no. Just, no. We have enough drama as it is. You people are the one who wants the drama, Mr. Junod. It’s the media who demands the crazy and the pretty and the studly. Not the public. It’s YOU who turn these people into stars.

Cripes. Don’t saddle us with your neurosis, buddy.


Filed under Christine O'Donnell, Esquire, media, midterm elections, Sarah Palin

>Best GOTV Video EVER

>From Steven Benen at The Washington Monthly:


Filed under midterm elections